I Sell the Dead (review)

If it were a 30-minute comic episode of The Twilight Zone, this ambitious low-budget flick might not have overstayed its welcome, but dragged out to three times that running time, it cannot help but be more miss than hit. On the eve of his execution for graverobbing and murder, Arthur Blake (Dominic Monaghan: X-Men Origins: Wolverine) confesses his sorry tale of desperation and skullduggery to Father Francis Duffy (Ron Perlman: Hellboy II: The Golden Army), though he insists he’s guilty only of snatching them what’s already dead, and not himself making anybody dead at all. Episodes of Arthur’s life with partner-in-crime Willie Grimes (Larry Fessenden [Wendy and Lucy], also a producer of the film) unfold in a series of flashbacks that, when they do hit, play like a Sam Raimi fever dream — the undead would prefer not to be snatched, thank you very much — and two of the incidents prompt quite the scream of laughter and horror. But those moments are few and far between. Far more interesting is the fact that this 19th-century European tale, from writer-director Glenn McQuaid, was shot entirely in New York City, with a style and visual wit that defies its low-budget origins. (available on IFC on Demand)

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